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Verifile International Newsletter Issue #11
05 Jun 2015
Welcome to our June edition of the International Newsletter 2015 which we hope you find helpful in keeping up to date.
System update – new features
Over the past few weeks we have released a number of updates to our system which we would like to tell you about. Here are the most significant new additions:
Screening different types of candidates
Our clients ask us to screen different types of candidates such as permanent and temporary staff, contractors and suppliers, clients and many more. However, our ability to customise the invitation emails sent to candidates has been limited. We now have the option to create more of these emails and each one will include wording that is applicable to a specific type of candidate. Once these types have been added to your account, you will be able to select one from a list when placing an order. As a result, each order will be tailored to a particular type of candidate without the need for separate accounts. If you are already screening, or interested in screening, different types of individuals and wish to set up tailored / customised wording for each one, please do get in touch.
Standard and enhanced level criminal checks (DBS) face to face identity check
Those of you ordering standard and enhanced level criminal checks (DBS) currently receive a weekly reminder to conduct the face to face identity check. However, we now have the option to change how often this email is sent. If you would like to receive the reminder email on a monthly basis, rather than weekly, please let us know and we will amend your account. Alternatively, you can change your notifications by visiting ‘My details’ and then ‘Email preferences’.
Automatically run additional credit checks
Occasionally, our system suggests running additional UK credit checks if all names and addresses on a candidate’s file were not searched by the credit bureau. A credit bureau can also find names and addresses that we were not aware of. Previously, clients were asked to log into the system and initiate these checks themselves. However, we now have the option to run all additional checks automatically and immediately. If you would like to use this option, please contact us and we will amend the settings on your account.
Employee Spotlight - Valdis Bulazs
At the end of this month Valdis will be celebrating his 5 years with Verifile. During these years there have certainly been changes, developments and lots of growth. Valdis explained that the initial attraction to work at Verifile was due to the fact that the industry fascinated him and he liked the idea of working alongside someone who has set up the business from scratch.
Wanting to progress quickly, Valdis joined the company as an HR Interviewer and was promoted to a Policy Researcher after just 4 months. Following this move, just over a year later, he got appointed to a newly created role as an International Screening Coordinator and since 2012 following another promotion, Valdis holds the positon of International Product Manager.
Valdis is responsible for researching and introducing new products as well as for improving and expanding the existing product lines. He is also managing suppliers from around the world and is responsible for quality benchmarking.
On asking Valdis what he appreciates most about his work at Verifile his answer was simple: “We always do our best to look after our clients and strive for quality which we never compromise for financial gain.”
Looking to the future, Valdis looks to develop and widen Verifile’s international product offering.
In this issue of the International Newsletter:
- Africa: Developing Privacy
- We deny Nigerians with Criminal Records Visas
- Law Institue of Victoria says Minor Crimes should be Wiped from Records
- Pakistan Police to Digitalize Criminal Records for Centralized Biometric Database
- Vietnam Tops Global Outsourcing Market List for the First Time
- The Business Impacts of the General Data Protection Regulation Part Two
- CNIL Simplifies Registration Requirement for International Data Transfers based on BCRS
- DPA and US FTC sign Memorandum of Understanding
- Bad Hires Incurring Significant Costs for Businesses
- Foreign Criminals Data taken off Police Records
- Criminal Record Checks Banned on Foreign Murderers and Rapists who want to be Minicab Drivers
- Police Service moving towards Pilot Project to Speed up Criminal Records Searches
- York Regional Police Offer Background Check Applications Online
- Arbitrator Rules Employer cannot Conduct Random Drug Searches using Drug Sniffing Dogs
- Public Servants face Credit Checks, Fingerprinting in New Security Screening Regime
- Ganja Possession Cleared from Criminal Records
- Weinberg Bill requiring International Background Checks for Doctors, Surgeons Advances
- Same Time Next Year
- Montana to Join Growing List of States Limiting Access to Social Media?
- FTC Settles with Two Companies Falsely Claiming to Comply with International Safe Harbor Privacy Framework
- Federal Judge in California Brings Down the Curtain on a FCRA Class Action Against Paramount Pictures
- It May Not be a Matter of "If," but 'When' for Private Employers in the Commonwealth - Virginia 'Bans the Box' for Many State Employment Applications
- Major FERPA Overhaul Under Consideration in U.S. House
- Texas a Hot Bed for Legislative Action Addressing the Background Screening Industry
- Virginia Limits Employer Access to Social Media Accounts of Employees and Applicants
- California District Court Holds that LinkedIn's "Reference Searches" Function Not a Consumer Report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Lawsuit Claims Background Check Error Ruined Reputation
- City Will Ban Employers From Viewing Credit History of Prospective Workers
- Felons Barred From Constructing Apple's Campus
- Medical Marijuana Extracts Approved in Georgia
- Growing Number of Workers Abusing Stimulants to Stay Competitive
- Failure to Disclose "Shy Bladder Syndrome" to Employer Defeats ADA Claims Over Firing for Refusal to Drug Test
- Data Privacy Challenges & Considerations for Cross-Border Ethics & Compliance Investigations
- The Long Arm of E-Verify Monitoring and Compliance
|RUSSIA & EASTERN BLOC
- Russia Data Localization Law Update: New Details Emerge from Meetings
- Russia Plans to Increase Fines for Violating Data Protection Laws
EMPLOYMENT SCREENING NEWS
DATA PROTECTION & PRIVACY
AFRICA: DEVELOPING PRIVACY
Africa has been making progress in the data protection arena. Currently there are 9 countries with regulators in place, 12 countries with data protection laws in force, and 14 countries where laws have been drafted or announced. Niger has drafted a data protection bill which incorporates the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) model law on data protection. The Moroccan data protection authority (CNDP) and the Belgian data protection authority signed a protocol in 2009 establishing a framework of cooperation on cross border data protection issues, representing the first international cooperation agreement signed by the CNDP. Nigeria does not currently have a data protection law but The National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy was signed by the Nigerian President in February 2015 and contains a framework for the implementation of data protection legislation.
WE DENY NIGERIANS WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS VISA
Amb. Mogethi Monaisa, Consul-General, South African High Commission in Nigeria said the commission sometimes denied issuance of its visas to Nigerians it discovered to be having criminal records. “The commission does not just deny people visas, but it is either that those it sometimes deny issuance of visas are discovered to have criminal records or failed to meet its requirements,” said Monaisa. "Nigerians should personally visit our websites for necessary information and requirements for applying for South African visas.’’ He said that Nigerians should facilitate their visa processing by submitting it to VFS Global. He assured Nigerian applicants seeking to obtain the South African visas that the commission would grant their requests as long as they satisfied the requirements guiding the issuance.
LAW INSTITUTE OF VICTORIA SAYS MINOR CRIMES SHOULD BE WIPED FROM RECORDS
Less serious crimes should disappear from adults' criminal records a decade after they have been convicted, lawyers say. In all other Australian states and territories, police are prevented from disclosing certain crimes people have committed to prospective employers, including older, less serious and irrelevant convictions and guilt findings. Victoria is the only state without a law to limit police disclosure of such crimes, known elsewhere as "spent convictions". The Law Institute of Victoria has written to Attorney-General Martin Pakula saying that the Andrews government introduces a scheme for spent convictions. The submission says that prison terms shorter than 30 months and sentences that carry no prison time should not be disclosed after a decade. The main exception would be for sexual offences, in line with all other state laws.
PAKISTAN POLICE TO DIGITALIZE CRIMINAL RECORDS FOR CENTRALIZED BIOMETRIC DATABASE
Pakistan’s Inspector General of Police (ICP) ordered the completion of the digitalization of criminal records at all police stations to ensure the launch of its centralized biometric database by May 10, 2015. The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) also confirmed that he had established a connection with the National Database and Registration Authority. The NADRA link will make it possible to view the details of all arrested suspects, as well as access fingerprints and other essential detail. The database’s main server will be housed at the Central Police Office, where it will also be accessible to the IGP Sindh, IG Karachi and other senior police officers.
VIETNAM TOPS GLOBAL OUTSOURCING MARKET LIST FOR THE FIRST TIME
Vietnam has become the world’s top outsourcing location for the first time in terms of costs, risks, and operational conditions, according to new research from global real estate adviser Cushman & Wakefield (C&W). Vietnam has capitalised on increasing labour costs in China to take first place in the ranking; while India remains the world’s largest business process outsourcing market. Vietnam established its presence in the sector as a result of numerous government reform policies to promote the country as a key outsourcing destination. C&W predicts the service segment will expand rapidly given the average age of the country’s workforce is under 30 and one-and-a-half million people enter the labour market every year.
THE BUSINESS IMPACTS OF THE GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION PART TWO
In the second of a three-part series on the people, process and technology impacts of Europe’s forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation, Steve Kenny looks at how the new rules will affect change organizationally. Executive awareness of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is typically based on two factors. First is a board’s quest to create value from innovation, which has driven ambitious initiatives to define and unify data strategies across divisions. Second, the GDPR obliges audit committee mandates to intersect those objectives as the shareholders’ fail-safe. While GDPR requirements have yet to be finalized, 20 years of jurisprudence dictate a direction of travel. What will likely follow affects five key areas within an organization:
Change 1: Using Customer Insights To Power Risk-Management
Change 2: Data
Change 3: Core Compliance
Change 4: Assurance
Change 5: Regulatory Intermediation
CNIL SIMPLIFIES REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL DATA TRANSFERS BASED ON BCRS
The CNIL announced the implementation of a new procedure that will simplify the registration formalities for French affiliates of groups that have implemented Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs). Currently, the CNIL’s prior authorization is required for each type of data transfer outside of the EU when the transfer is based on BCRs. The CNIL now proposes to issue a single authorization decision to each group that has implemented BCRs. The group’s affiliates that are data controllers and bound by the BCRs will then need to submit only a simplified registration for all of their data transfers outside of the EU based on the group’s BCRs. The affiliates will not have to obtain the CNIL’s prior authorization for each data transfer.
NETHERLANDS' DPA AND US FTC SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
As of 1 January, amendments to the Polish Data Protection Act of 29 August 1997 entered into force, following the passing, on 7 November 2014, of the act on the facilitation of conditions regarding the conduct of business activity, which may impact the data compliance status of many companies. The law generally aims to facilitate data controllers' duties and it will amend or supplement existing provisions by providing additional options to fulfill data protection requirements. Some may find it surprising that Poland changed its data protection law now, since the new, relevant EU General Data Protection Regulation is on the way, but the amendment process has been in progress since 2012.
EMPLOYMENT SCREENING NEWS
BAD HIRES INCURRING SIGNIFICANT COSTS FOR BUSINESSES
HR professionals are finding it tough to hire capable employees, with one in 10 new recruits regarded as a ‘poor hiring decision’ according to research by Robert Half UK. The recruitment specialists’ new report, Management Insights: How to avoid common hiring mistakes
, found that the costs associated with bad hires can have a significant impact on a business, with HR directors reporting that the main problems include a loss of productivity (52%), a reduction in staff morale (30%) and substantial financial ramifications from salaries, training and loss of performance. In the study of over 200 HR executives 70 percent revealed that they had hired someone who did not meet their expectations, and 91 percent reported identifying skilled workers a challenge.
FOREIGN CRIMINALS DATA TAKEN OFF POLICE RECORDS
Thousands of foreign criminals who have been convicted of offences outside England and Wales have had their DNA profiles and fingerprint details deleted from British police databases. Alastair MacGregor QC, the biometrics commissioner, has warned the Home Office that this “obviously unsatisfactory state of affairs” might be putting the public at unnecessary risk. The commissioner says there is a gap in the law as a result of new rules designed to remove DNA profiles and fingerprints of innocent people from the police national computer. This gap means the biometric details of those arrested but not charged with an offence in Britain cannot be held indefinitely solely because they have been convicted of an offence outside England and Wales. Read more
CRIMINAL RECORD CHECKS BANNED ON FOREIGN MURDERERS AND RAPISTS WHO WANT TO BE MINICAB DRIVERS
Asylum seekers and refugees applying to be minicab drivers are exempt from criminal records checks, potentially allowing murderers and rapists to get behind the wheel. Rules laid down by Transport for London (TfL) mean refugees and those applying for asylum do not have to reveal whether they have a criminal history when trying to become a cab driver. The legal loophole in an official application document on 'private hire driver licensing' says people coming to Britain will not be required to have their criminal convictions checked. The form states: 'With regards to overseas criminal records checks, no such checks will be made in respect of those applicants who declare that they are in possession of or who have applied for refugee or asylum status.' Campaigners called for a change in the guidelines, calling on all minicab drivers to undergo criminal checks.
EMPLOYMENT SCREENING NEWS
POLICE SERVICE MOVING TOWARDS PILOT PROJECT TO SPEED UP CRIMINAL RECORDS SEARCHES
The city police force is moving ahead with trying to speed up the process to get a background check. The Thunder Bay Police Service will issue a request for proposal to find a third-party to handle the criminal records searches, which are often necessities for employment and volunteer purposes. Police officials said the force conducts more than 6,000 checks this year, with the average wait time being between one to three months. Creating a more efficient process is the goal, said police chief J.P. Levesque. “We’re counting on them to speed things up so we’re looking at a one to two year pilot project,” Levesque said. The process will ensure the hired company will be able to properly conduct the detailed and thorough searches that are necessary.
YORK REGIONAL POLICE OFFER BACKGROUND CHECK APPLICATIONS ONLINE
In the last few years, statistics show that an increasing number of licences to possess medical marihuana have been granted, and with the recent changes to the federal legislation, this number is very likely to keep growing. One of the many issues to be considered in the wake of these changes is the impact on the employment sphere: How should employers deal with employees who use prescribed marihuana in the workplace? What measures should be put in place? Should parameters be set in order to supervise the use of medical marihuana in the workplace? Beginning in 2001 in Canada, medical marihuana was controlled through the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR), under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, as established by Health Canada. Since March 2014, under the MMPR, licences are no longer granted by Health Canada. Practitioners, who previously had the role of declaring medical conditions, are now enabled to prescribe medical marihuana.
ALCOHOL & DRUG SCREENING
A SNIFF TOO FAR? ARBITRATOR RULES EMPLOYER CANNOT CONDUCT RANDOM DRUG SEARCHES USING DRUG SNIFFING DOGS
An arbitrator determined whether Agrium Vanscoy Potash Operations could require employees to submit to a search from a drug sniffing dog before they could enter the potash mine. The United Steelworkers Local 7552 grieved against this policy, alleging that requiring all employees to submit to the random search/interview process was “an unjustifiable violation of employees’ fundamental right of ‘privacy’.” The arbitrator concluded that a sniff by a drug sniffing dog is a search that could interfere with an employee’s informational privacy and that Agrium did not have reasonable grounds to invade the informational privacy of its employees through the drug sniff/interview process. The arbitrator’s decision is consistent with prior jurisprudence and the case law which places a very high evidentiary bar on employee drug testing. Employers will need specific evidence of a substance abuse problem before they can require employees to submit to drug searches or testing, even minimally invasive searches by drug sniffing dogs.
PUBLIC SERVANTS FACE CREDIT CHECKS, FINGERPRINTING IN NEW SECURITY SCREENING REGIME
Treasury Board spokeswoman Lisa Murphy says a criminal record check is part of the new assessment for some public servants and ‘may include an RCMP requirement to obtain the individual’s fingerprints if deemed necessary by the functions of the position.’ Unions representing federal public servants are up in arms over the government’s plans to do credit checks of new and current public servants as part of its revamped security clearance screening process. “An assessment of the trustworthiness and reliability of all individuals accessing sensitive information and/or assets must be undertaken to protect the interests and security of the government of Canada,” Murphy said. “A credit check will be reviewed as part of that assessment, in addition to other information to assist in assessing an individual’s reliability and trustworthiness.”
GANJA POSSESSION CLEARED FROM CRIMINAL RECORDS IN JAMAICA
Jamaican residents convicted of possessing or smoking small amounts of marijuana prior to October last year, will not have these convictions reflected on their criminal record. The announcement follows legislative changes that came into effect on April 15 as part of the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015, also referred to as the ‘Ganja Reform Law’. Justice Minister Mark Golding said that the system will now automatically expunge all such convictions, once the offender applies for his or her 'police' record. The amendments to the act now make possession of less than two ounces of marijuana a ticketable offence.
EMPLOYMENT SCREENING NEWS
WEINBERG BILL REQUIRING INTERNATIONAL BACKGROUNDS CHECKS FOR DOCTORS, SURGEONS ADVANCES
Responding to the case of a Passaic County doctor who was convicted of manslaughter in the United Kingdom and practicing in New Jersey, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg sponsored legislation to require international background checks for all applicants seeking to practice medicine or surgery in the state. The bill was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. “Unfortunately, our laws do not extend background checks to those who may have practiced outside of the United States,” said Senator Weinberg. “This leaves patients at serious risk of undergoing a medical procedure performed by an unqualified doctor or surgeon. Requiring an international background check will help to keep our residents safe.”
Same Time Next Year
Does your company participate in the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework? It's a voluntary international privacy program administered by the Department of Commerce that lets companies transfer data from the EU to the U.S. in compliance with EU law. To participate in the Safe Harbor Framework, the first step is for a company to certify that it abides by seven principles: notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access, and enforcement. But the obligation doesn't end there. A company also has to annually reaffirm that it's still in compliance. That's why saying you have a valid Safe Harbor certification - but failing to self-certify once a year - is a deceptive practice, in violation of the FTC Act.
Montana to Join Growing List of States Limiting Access to Social Media?
Legislators in Montana gave final approval to H.B. 342, which would limit an employer's ability to access the personal social media accounts of applicants and employees. The bill now goes to Governor Steve Bullock's office. If signed, Montana would become the most recent state to join the list of 19 states, which limit an employer's access to personal social media accounts. Notably, the proposed Montana law would permit employers to request login credentials when the employer has specific information about the employee's activity that indicates work-related employee misconduct, criminal defamation or the unauthorized transfer by the employee of the employer's proprietary or confidential information, trade secrets, financial data
FTC Settles with Two Companies Falsely Claiming to Comply with International Safe Harbor Privacy Framework
Two U.S. businesses have agreed to settle FTC charges they falsely claimed they were abiding by an international privacy framework known as the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor, which enables U.S. companies to transfer consumer data from the EU to the US in compliance with EU law. FTC complaints against TES Franchising, LLC, and American International Mailing, Inc. allege that the companies' websites indicated they were currently certified under the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework, when in fact their certifications had lapsed years earlier. "These cases send an important message that businesses must not deceive consumers about whether they hold these certifications, and by extension, the ways in which they protect consumers," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.
Federal Judge in California Brings Down the Curtain on a FCRA Class Action Against Paramount Pictures
Class actions alleging technical violations of the FCRA against employers who obtain consumer reports on job applicants are all the rage, generating large settlements and headlines. Perhaps bucking this trend, a federal judge in California recently dismissed a putative class action case in its infancy against Paramount Pictures Corporation. The plaintiff, Michael Peikoff, alleges Paramount breached the FCRA by procuring a consumer report without making the required disclosure. The court found that even if Paramount's disclosure did not strictly comport with FCRA's requirement, "it is not plausible that Paramount acted in reckless disregard of the requirements of the FCRA by using this language." The court granted Paramount's motion, and dismissed Peikoff's complaint with prejudice.
It May Not be a Matter of 'If,' but 'When' for Private Employers in the Commonwealth - Virginia 'Bans the Box' for Many State Employment Applications
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has issued Executive Order #41, thereby adding Virginia to the growing list of jurisdictions (including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., and more than 100 cities and counties) that have "banned the box" and excluded and/or limited the use of criminal background checks in hiring for certain jobs. While Executive Order #41 does not currently impact private employers, Virginia employers should begin evaluating whether the use of criminal background information for employment purposes is appropriate for their organizations, including whether the benefits of such practices are worth the risks in the current political environment.
Major FERPA Overhaul Under Consideration in U.S. House
A proposed overhaul of the country's primary law protecting student-data privacy is being circulated for feedback, offering yet another sign of the federal government's interest in reshaping the legislative landscape around this hot-button issue. The "discussion draft" of a bill that would rewrite the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, was released by the bipartisan leadership of the Education & the Workforce Committee of the U.S. House. The bill is intended as a potential complement to-not replacement for-the pending Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act, championed by the White House.